Stepping up with Fiji

Stepping up with Fiji

International Policy International Engagement
Friday, 01 November 2019

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Prime Minister of Fiji, the Hon Rear Admiral (Retired) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, and Prime Minister of Australia and the Hon Scott Morrison MP shaking hands

Australia and Fiji are natural partners, with a long history of cooperation and shared interests and values. Over the last two months, the Prime Minister of Fiji, the Hon Rear Admiral (Retired) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, and Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, reaffirmed the importance of the Australia-Fiji partnership through official visits to one another’s countries.

Prime Minister Bainimarama visited Australia as a Guest of Government on 12 to 17 September 2019. His visit commenced in Sydney, where he visited the Sydney Desalination plant and the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Base East. He attended a tour of the HMAS Adelaide, one of Australia’s Landing-Helicopter Dock amphibious ships, which will visit Fiji later this year.

Prime Minister Bainimarama also travelled to Wollongong where he watched a Rugby League match between the Fijian Drua and the NSW Country Eagles.

Prime Minister Morrison then welcomed Prime Minister Bainimarama in Canberra, where they signed the ‘Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership’ at Australian Parliament House. The Vuvale Partnership is a broad-ranging and comprehensive agreement that will pave the way for deeper security, economic and people-to-people links.

While in Canberra, Prime Minister Bainimarama laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial, and planted a tree at the National Arboretum.

Less than a month later, Prime Minister Morrison visited Fiji on 11 to 12 October 2019 for bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Bainimarama, and to attend the Prime Minister’s XIII rugby league matches, which were being held for the first time in Fiji. The Prime Ministers attended the rugby together where they celebrated the sporting, cultural and people-to-people linkages between Australia and Fiji.

While in Fiji, Prime Minister Morrison visited the Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp to see firsthand the progress being made through the Australia-Fiji joint effort to redevelop the site. The redevelopment will transform the camp into a regional hub for police and peacekeeping training and pre-deployment preparation, and demonstrates the strength of the defence and security partnership between Australia and Fiji.

The Australia-Fiji relationship continues to grow through regular and direct personal contact between Prime Ministers, Ministers and senior officials. Both Prime Ministers have expressed their intention to continue to progress the Vuvale Partnership and further develop the close ties that bind Australia and Fiji.

Both Prime Ministers have expressed their commitment to work in partnership as regional leaders to ensure the Pacific prospers as a secure, stable and sovereign region.